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World of Warships Final Review: Pan-American Tier VIII Premium Cruiser Almirante Grau

9 min read

Ladies and Gentlemen, a new Campaign called Inca Trail Adventure will begin very soon. Just like the previous ones, this Campaign will have you complete missions and these missions will reward you with Inca tokens. With these tokens, you can get random bundles and Grau will be in one of the said bundles. Otherwise, she will also be in the Premium Shop and the Armory for the standard prices of a tier VIII premium cruiser.

Historical background

BAP Almirante Grau is a De Zeven Provinciën-class light cruiser from the Peruvian Navy. The ship started life as HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, being laid down in September 1939. Due to the Germans deciding to visit the Netherlands in May 1940, the construction of the ship had to be halted. The construction would resume during the occupation with the Germans wanting to complete her as a training ship but the slow construction led to the ship only being launched in December 1944.

After the liberation of the Netherlands, the Dutch Navy completed the ship but she was renamed HNLMS De Ruyter. She was officially commissioned in November 1953 and would serve as flagship for various naval task forces. She continued to operate until she was decommissioned in October 1972.
This is when her second (or even third) life would begin as Almirante Grau after she was bought by the Peruvian Navy in March 1973. She was designated as the flagship of the fleet and kept on serving until she was decommissioned in September 2017 as the last all-gun cruiser of any navy in the world. The initial plan was to turn her into a museum but in February 2022 the ship was placed on sale and in July, it was announced that she would be scrapped.

Ship’s preview

Ship’s commemorative flag

The camouflages

The permanent camouflage of Almirante Grau comes with the standard permanent tier VIII economic bonuses:

  • +5% Credits
  • +50% XP
  • +50% Commander XP
  • +50% Free XP

The ship will also come with a special skin called “Ancient Totem”.

To my greatest shame, the horn isn’t replaced by the Pillar men’s theme from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

The Good and the Bad

The Good

  • Good ballistics
  • Decent main battery reload time outside of the combat instruction
  • Good turret traverse speed
  • Good firing angles
  • Turrets can rotate at 360°
  • Combat instruction that drastically reduces the main battery reload time
  • Amazing anti-air damage output
  • 6.9 km anti-air range
  • Pretty good concealment
  • Small citadel
  • Large armor belt extending to the end of the stern combined with an internal deck armor to protect the citadel when kiting.

The Bad

  • Only eight guns
  • Low long-range anti-air DPS
  • Below average top speed
  • Loses a lot of speed when turning
  • Low HP pool
  • Thin main belt armor
  • Huge superstructure
  • No anti-submarine airstrike on a cruiser with low speed
  • Combat instruction that requires you to remain unspotted for at least 50 seconds to fully charge.


Gun Fire Control System
Main battery


Almirante Grau


Propulsion: 85 000 HP


Mk8 mod. 1


152 mm/53 Model 1942 in a turret

General Characteristics and Playstyle

Health33 900 HP
Torpedo Damage Reduction0 %
Displacement12 165 tons
Overall length187.25 m
Beam17.98 m
Overall height (keel to the highest point on the ship)24.52 m
Freeboard5.0 m
Main Armament
Maximum Firing Range16.060 km
152 mm/53 Model 1942 in a turret4 x 2 152 mm
Maximum speed32.0 knots
Turning Circle Radius700 m
Rudder Shift Time9.09 s
Surface Detectability11.9 km
Air Detectability8.52 km
Detectability After Firing Main Guns in Smoke5.92 km
Combat Instruction – Immediate Main Battery Reload

Duration30.0 s
Interval5.0 s
Progress per interval10%
Time of inactivity before progress loss30.0 s
Progress loss per second of inactivity2%
Active effect – Main battery reload time-66%
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 3
Damage Control Party
consumable_PCY009_CrashCrewPremiumWork time: 5 s
Cooldown: 60 s
Hydroacoustic Search
consumable_PCY016_SonarSearchPremiumNumber of charges: 3
Work time: 100 s
Cooldown: 120 s
Torpedo spotting range: 3.5 km
Ship spotting range: 5.0 km
Defensive AA Fire
Number of charges: 3
Work time: 40 s
Cooldown: 180 s
Continuous Damage: +50%
Damage from shell explosions: +300%

Almirante Grau is a particularly unique cruiser and this is putting it lightly. While on paper, her playstyle isn’t too complex as she remains a damage-focused cruiser, the way she actually gets to deal her damage is one of a kind in the game. It all boils down to one thing, her Combat Instruction.

Unlike the usual “Get X amount of shells near the target” to charge it, here the name of the game is discretion. To charge her combat instruction, you need to remain unspotted for at least 50 seconds. This forces you to wisely position your ship and be aware of your surroundings, especially considering that the ship has fairly poor mobility compared to other roaming cruisers. Talking about mobility, one thing to particularly keep in mind is that she loses A LOT of speed when turning. It can obviously be turned into an advantage as you can make a sharp turn combined with killing the engines to dodge shots from battleships. You… just need to pray that the guy didn’t aim like a stormtrooper and ends up nailing you in the process.

Once the combat instruction is loaded, this is where the fun begins. Basically, you can nuke full HP cruisers in a single activation because of the stupid amount of damage you are pumping. Battleships aren’t anything close to safe either, especially tier VII and tier VI ones as these also melt away. That’s really the thing with Almirante Grau. She doesn’t work like your classic HE spammer that aims at dealing consistent damage throughout the game. Grau is all about these massive bursts of damage that can flip the game around by eliminating a target in one go or at least crippling it hard enough to put it in danger of dying soon. I can only imagine the potential of this ship if the guy playing it is in a division with ships that can keep them unspotted with smoke.
Overall, while Grau is definitely a ship with very high potential, she is also one with a high-skill floor. She has the problem of having relatively low survivability with the lack of armor, low HP pool, and no heal and I could see the average player struggling to charge her Combat instruction outside of the first one that is basically guaranteed.

If you want to see the ship in action, here is a commented replay of one of my games:

Main Armament

4 x 2 152 mm/53 Model 1942 in a turret
All turrets can rotate at 360°
 Maximum Firing Range16.060 km
 Reloading Time7.0 s
180 Degree Turn Time22.5 s
Optimal firing angles at the front30°
Optimal firing angles at the rear33°
Sigma2.0 sigma
Maximum Dispersion144 m
Type of Projectile HE – 152 mm HE Brisantgranaat
Alpha Damage2 150
Penetration capacity 30 mm
Explosion size8.55 m
Fire chance11 %
Projectile Speed900 m/s
Air Drag0.284
Projectile Mass46.0 kg
Type of ProjectileAP – 152 mm AP Pantsergranaat
Alpha Damage3 000
Projectile Speed900 m/s
Air Drag0.288
Projectile Mass46.7 kg
Projectile Krupp2 200
Projectile Detonator0.025 s
Detonator threshold25 mm
Ricochet Angles45° – 60°

Most of the time, you will be waiting for the Combat Instruction to be ready as you want that ludicrous DPM to burst down an enemy ship.
However, this waiting time can take two different forms. Either you are… doing nothing since you are out in the open and cannot afford to shoot or you are shooting at something from behind cover or from inside a smoke cloud.

When you are firing with the normal reload time, the firepower is already decent. Her HE DPM is the 16th highest at tier VIII (out of 45) and it isn’t like Austin where you are bare-boned when the gimmick isn’t around. As such, if you end up caught spotted and cannot get out of it any time soon, you will be able to defend yourself. However, one still needs to keep in mind that the ship has a low HP pool and no Repair Party so trades with other ships might not go too well.

When the Immediate Main Battery Reload is active though, this is where things get funny. You turn for a whole 30 seconds into an A-10 Warthog, pumping so many shells that you can quite literally vaporize cruisers in a single activation. Anything with 30 mm of armor simply melts in a matter of seconds and if it’s a cruiser at less than 8 km trying to make a U-turn in front of you, the guy will never end the turn. They will be dead long before. It is honestly quite scary to see what can be achieved with that ship in those 30 seconds. If you are facing a Grau that gets constantly smoked by friendly ships, you can pretty much forget about pushing unless you can somehow capitalize on those 50 seconds of downtime for the combat instruction.

Anti-air Armament

4 x 2 152 mm/53 Model 1942 in a turret
Sector firing range0.1 km – 6.9 km
Hit chance90 %
Sector’s damage21
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second74
Flak clouds number4
Flak cloud damage1 680
4 x 2 57 mm/60 SAK Model 1950 on a Model 1950 mount
8 x 1 40 mm/70 SAK-40/L70-350 on a SAK-40/L70-350 mount
Sector firing range0.1 km – 4.0 km
Hit chance90 %
Sector’s damage192
Sector’s damage frequency0.29 s
Sector’s damage per second672

The anti-air of Almirante Grau is downright nuts. While the continuous DPS of the long-range aura is nothing impressive, it is compensated by the 6.9 km range. Considering that you can perfectly spec her for anti-air, the flak barrage she generates can also be brutal against the average CV players that eat flak explosions constantly.

However, the true fear factor is the medium-range aura. Even against tier X carriers, with the Defensive AA fire active, the planes will get OBLITERATED. If you ever play a tier VI carrier and you see a Grau on the enemy team, do not even try. It would go about as well as punching an occupied hornet nest.

ASW Armament

Shipborne depth charges

Reloading Time40 s
Number of charges2
Number of bombs in payload6
Damage2 000
Sink speed21.5-32.2 m/s
Detonation timer6.5 – 7.5 s
Explosion radius800 m
Fire chances11%
Flooding chances12%
Damage distribution

Wargaming, in their infinite wisdom, decided to give to a relatively slow cruiser shipborne depth charges…
Unless the submarine player is immensely stupid, you won’t get the occasion to use these charges.

The Armor

External armor protection:

Citadel armor protection:

Turrets armor protection:

Hidden armor protection inside the stern:

Final Opinion

Let’s get one thing clear first.

Almirante Grau isn’t for everybody.

It isn’t like your average tier VIII damage-focused cruiser with which you can half turn your brain off and spam HE. With Grau, you need to have a bit of finesse to decide where and when you engage and most of all you use your Combat instruction. Her lack of agility and her poor survivability make her a serious glass cannon and this is why you need to be as certain as possible that you have a planned escape route if shit hits the fan.

However, if you are able to make full use of her toolkit, if you have proper map awareness and can exploit terrain successfully, this ship will reward you like rarely saw it in this game. The leaderboard for this thing is also going to look pretty funny with all the sweaty smokebot divisions that we will see around.

Recommended Build

For the Almirante Grau, I recommend the following commander build and upgrades:

If you want, you can swap AA Defense and ASW Expert for Top Grade Gunner or for a combination of Demolition Expert and Priority Target.

This concludes my review of Almirante Grau. Thank you for reading this article!

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Also if you are new to the game or want to get back to it, feel free to use my Recruiting Station code for free goodies such as Premium ships, premium time, and more:

Have a good one and see you soon!

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